The Dutch company Sprx Mobile has launched its new app Layar. Read about it here. They call it an augmented reality browser. Sounds fancy. What it does in layman terms though is that it pulls in relevant data depending on your geolocation and what you are pointing your camera phone to. Yes that us pretty powerful. Looking for a house? Walking around in a neighbourhood you fancy to move to? Just start Layar and sweep over the landscape with your camera phone and pull up information on the houses that are for sale.
So by being aware of your phone’s geolocation and knowing where it is pointing to (Layar requires a built in compass to work) it can provide you data about what is just around you.
- The need for a built in compass. Total universe now is Android phones and iPhone 3GS.
- In addition the business model requires scale. This is yet another app that is fully relying on a very powerful network effect. I.e. that you get many users fast. With small user base there will be few companies and content providers knocking on the door.
It should be possible to charge end-users directly for some information. Travel guides etc. This might be the most viable route to take in the short to mid-term. On the iPhone the in-app purchases should be a powerful vehicle for this.
If you are in Holland (launched) or Germany where they launch soon you have the chance to see a bit of the imminent future.
Good work Sprxmobile!